[What follows is excerpted from a report published in The Evening Standard on this date in 2010:]
BP admitted today that it put pressure on the British Government to speed up talks on a deal that led directly to the early release of the Lockerbie bomber.
In a statement the oil giant said that in "late 2007" it told ministers that "we were concerned about the slow progress that was being made in concluding a Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Libya".
The agreement was a key piece of the complex diplomatic jigsaw that ended in the dramatic return of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi to Tripoli on compassionate grounds last August. The lobbying came after BP signed a $900 million exploration agreement with Libya in May 2007.
BP said it was aware that any delay in signing the agreement "could have a negative impact on UK commercial interests, including the ratification by the Libyan government of BP's exploration agreement".
However, the company insisted that it did not get involved in the detail of al-Megrahi's release.
It said: "The decision to release Mr al- Megrahi in August 2009 was taken by the Scottish government. It's not for BP to comment on the decision of the Scottish government. BP was not involved in any discussions with the UK Government or the Scottish government about the release of Mr al-Megrahi."
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would look at requests from US Senators to investigate the role BP played in the release.
Yesterday, Mrs Clinton confirmed she had received the letter from Democratic Senators Robert Menendez, Frank Lautenberg, Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer "and we will obviously look into it".